By Olasunkanmi Akoni
The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, is seeking the cooperation of the Lagos Inland Revenue Service, LIRS, to realise its N8.5 trillion revenue target to fund the 2020 budget.
Executive Chairman, FIRS, Muhammed Nami, who made this known during a courtesy visit to Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu at Ikeja, had described as “unusual” the target by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He stated: “Some of the multinational companies in Nigeria, some of them as far back as 2011 was the last time they declared their profit and debt taxes in Nigeria. We are of the view that with you being their host and our internal revenue on the ground we should be able to map out a strategy on how to tackle these issues.
“These are companies that most of their products are consumed daily in our houses but they will come here, do business, go back to their country and leave us with the huge responsibility of providing security for their businesses and infrastructure which they will use to provide an atmosphere to operate optimally.
“We are all aware that to fund the budgetary requirement, the President has given us an unusual target of N8.5 trillion to collect. We feel this is a huge task in view of the fact that the tax average to GDP in Africa is as huge as 17 per cent. In Nigeria which is the largest economy, it is just a 6 per cent tax ratio to GDP. It becomes a challenge also that the second-largest economy in Africa has a tax ratio to GDP in the region of 27 to 28 per cent.
“We want to request that the internal revenue in Lagos State share certain information with us so that we can collaborate in not only generating income for the country but also building capacity for the staff of FIRS and LIRS.
“We feel without this collaboration we hardly can generate this N8.5 trillion that we have been instructed to collect by the president.”
Meanwhile, Sanwo-Olu has expressed his administration’s readiness to collaborate with FIRS to move tax administration forward in the country.
Receiving the FIRS delegation, Sanwo-Olu commended President Buhari for approving tax exemptions on some category of businesses, goods, and services.